Newly introduced bills at a glance

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 23, 2013 at 1:04 pm •  Published: February 23, 2013

Highlights from the 1,376 bills introduced this year in the Assembly and the 813 introduced in the Senate:

— Possessing condoms could not be used as evidence against someone suspected of prostitution under a bill from Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco. Supporters said AB336 would encourage safe-sex practices. Law enforcement officers could still use other factors, such as someone being in a known prostitution area or possession of sex toys, in pursuing charges.

— AB65 would close a legal loophole brought to light by a January state Court of Appeals ruling that overturned a rape conviction. The measure from Democratic Assembly Speaker John Perez and Republican Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian, who introduced a similar proposal last year, would expand the definition of rape to include cases in which the perpetrator impersonates the victim's partner.

— The state's homeless population would be empowered under AB5, dubbed the "Homeless Bill of Rights." It would give legal protections for people to carry out "life sustaining activities" such as eating, storing personal property and urinating in public spaces. Bill sponsor Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, says homeless residents face daily discrimination for carrying out their lives.

— Plastic bags would be banned at certain grocery stores under AB158 by Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-San Rafael. A similar proposal passed the Assembly in 2010 but failed in the Senate. Several dozen cities throughout the state already have enacted local bans on use of plastic bags.

— Unused money set aside to help veterans buy homes could be redirected to other veterans' services under AB639. The legislation from Assembly Speaker John Perez, D-Los Angeles, would retain $500 million from the 2008 Veterans Bond Act for single-family homes, while allowing other money to be used for job training, mental health treatment or programs aimed at reducing homelessness.

— A new state law allowing driver's licenses to be issued to some illegal immigrants with a work permit could be expanded under AB60. The measure from Assemblyman Luis Alejo, D-Salinas, would allow licenses to be issued to any illegal immigrants who can show they pay taxes.

— State and local government could not initially request criminal background information on those seeking employment under a proposal from Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, D-Sacramento. His office says one in four adult Californians has an arrest or conviction record. Under AB109, their criminal history could be requested only after the employer determines they meet other job requirements.

— Several measures proposed in the Assembly aim to broaden online privacy safeguards for consumers. One from Isadore Hall, D-Los Angeles, AB257, would require developers of mobile-phone applications to disclose their privacy policies and establish procedures for guarding identifying information. Another from Roger Dickinson, D-Sacramento, AB844, would address protecting information of those who make online purchases with a credit card.

— A package of bills would offer more protection to women who are the victims of violence. Four bills from Assembly Speaker Pro Tem Nora Campos, D-San Jose, would, among other provisions, double the maximum time period for restraining orders against sex offenders and make it a crime to steal the online identity of a domestic violence victim.